Jokerit versus Florida

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VS

Today the Florida Panthers will play their final exhibition game against Jokerit in Finland.  This will be the final tuneup before Friday’s season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks.  Hopefully the Panthers can come out on the positve side on this one for a few reasons.  Momentum going into the opener for one.  Nothing like riding the good feeling of a win to start the season.  Playing well, even in an exhibition game can be contageous.  The Panthers while coming close on Monday, need a victory.  Knowing how they played Monday, they will need to play with a little more punch and control the game.  Coach Peter DeBoer commented that in Monday’s game “Tappara played with more desperation”, therefore I am thinking he’s looking for that out of his team.

Also on the positive side is the signing of number one pick defenceman Dmitry Kulikov, who was signed on Tuesday.  Good job by Randy Sexton  acting general manager of the Panthers on being able to get this done, as this was a diificult task, but one that will be worth while.  Kulikov has alot of upside and depending on how he plays, could stick.

Mike Duco, who played for Deboer in Kitchener has a been the preseason surprise and actually has a very solid shot at making the club.  Taking advantage of an injury to Nick Tarnasky, Duco has played well and according to DeBoer, has matured.

The new season is almost here and the wait will soon be over.  Remember Friday 12 noon kickoff puck puck drop.  Kids if you’re in school, don’t forget the fever your gonna have at about 11:00 am!

Thanks for reading.